Oman and Kuwait could host matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup if the competition in Qatar is expanded to 48 teams, a report has said.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has often spoken favourably about expanding the size of the event from 32 countries, but Qatar’s infrastructure would not be able to handle this increase.
According to The New York Times, Oman and Kuwait are favoured to host games as they are not among the regional countries which have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar.
A number of nations, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, have enforced a blockade on Qatar due to their alleged support for terrorism.
Forty-eight teams have already been confirmed for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be co-hosted in North America by the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Since that was voted on in 2017, Infantino has repeatedly stressed that the change could be brought forward to 2022, while suggesting that other countries in the Middle East could host some matches.
Infantino revealed FIFA would only proceed with the plan with the support of the host nation, however.
He has claimed that most football associations support the idea to go up in size.
A decision is expected to be made at the FIFA Congress in Paris in June, on the eve of the Women’s World Cup.
Infantino is also standing unopposed for reelection as President in the French capital.
Qatar are building eight stadiums for 2022.
Critics have claimed a 48-team tournament is too large and could lead to a lower standard of football, with FIFA accused of being motivated by money.
A 32-team World Cup also provides a neater and easier to understand route of progression throughout the event.